The Empire Reborn
In this play-by-forum game, each player takes charge of one of the Great Clans of Rokugon, working to conquer territory, make allies, overcome challenges, and ultimately become Emperor. It’s kind of a like a virtual tabletop 4X game, with a Gamemaster moderating battles and events, while trying to serve as an impartial judge.
Your Clan has three main elements:
- Clan characters, which represent your Clan’s leaders and powerbrokers. Characters are created using a point-buy system, have some limited RPG stats, and gain experience. Many actions can only be done by characters. Characters usually can do one action a turn, such as general an army, investigate a strange occurnce, lobby for the Imperial Favor, etc. Character interaction is often depicted in the forum, either face-to-face conversation or “imperial missives” that allow communication at range.
- Armies, which are composed of units. Most of your income and money management will be focused around buying and paying upkeep on these armies. Armies march across provinces and do the majority of the fighting, but without characters to lead them they lose a lot of their effectiveness. Armies have a limited amount of move per turn, depending on their units. Armies generally can only fight once per turn, usually either to take control of a Province or defend it.
- Provinces, the territory that your Clan controls. Provinces are the primary source of income that is used to pay for armies. Provinces can be explored to find hidden locations, can be built up with construction projects, or be laid waste to by marauding armies or natural disasters.
During setup, you will pick a clan and then use Points to buy characters and Koku (money) to buy your armies. Your initial provinces are assigned to you.
Gameplay proceeds in Turns, with each Turn representing a month in game time. Each player has a Turn Sheet which has the info on the state of their Clan for that turn. Most of the players time is taken up determing what actions the characters will take, where the armies will move and if they will battle, and how to manage the Clan finances for that turn. Another portion will likely involve some communication with allies and neighbors, sharing plans or creating strategies.
From a time perspective, generally Turn sheets spend a week with the players, and then a week with the GM as he works to resolve all actions. Special events such as tournaments may get a week of their own. Times are flexible, as when all players submit turn sheets early or someone requests an extention. The ansynchronous nature of the game makes it easier to work out the time needed: whenever you can find it during the week. During the previous game, there were folks who spent maybe an hour a week, and some who spent substantially more than that. There is flexiblity for players to determine their own time commitment.
Often times the GM will “fictionalize” events that are resolved through die rolls, such as battles or duels. Here’s an Example Battle Report. Here’s how some tournament results turn out, or sometimes there are just stories.